Getting out of a high rise building that is on fire can seem impossible. But if you stop panicking and start thinking straight you might find ways to protect yourself from the damage. Here are a few things you can do when trapped in fire:
Close all the doors and windows between you and the fire
If you are at a safe distance from the fire, make sure you close all the doors and windows that are between you and the fire. Fresh oxygen might make it easier for you to breathe, but it also feeds the fire and makes it grow. To block all the paths between the fire and you and seal out the smoke from entering the place where you are trapped.
Notify the fire authorities
Once you have secured your location, make it a point to notify the local fire authorities. Give them your address and let them know where you are trapped so that they can locate you efficiently. Installing a smoke alarm or a fire protection system like abv phel can help in detecting such fires before they cause any damage and will also signal the fire authorities to take action.
Cover the vents and cracks in doors and windows
Even after closing the doors and windows between you and the fire, you can still be exposed to some smoke if there are vents and cracks in them. So try your best to close these vents and cracks before the smoke causes any harm to your health. Look for blankets, towels, sheets, or any other cloth that you can use to block the smoke from getting through these vents and cracks. Run the cloth under cold water and stuff it around the cracks and vents. This will keep the smoke out until the rescuers come for you.
Help Rescuers Locate You
If you haven’t been able to call 9-11, wave a light-colored cloth or a flashlight at the window to signal rescuers. You can also hang a sheet or cloth outside the window. You can open the window slightly until the rescuers see you. But make it a point to close it back if the smoke condition becomes worse.
Filter the air that you inhale
Heat and smoke tend to rise up whenever a fire breaks out. Staying low will help you reduce the amount of smoke that you inhale. If this isn’t helping much you can even use a mask to filter the air that you inhale. You can also wet cloth and cover your nose and mouth with it if you don’t have a smoke mask. It may not be perfect, but it will still help you filter the air that you breathe until the rescuers save you.
One thing you should avoid at all costs when trapped in a fire is getting out through the roof. By doing so, you will only be exposing yourself to the rising smoke, while limiting the options of your rescuers to save you.